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Utbildnings- och kultursociologi
Sociology of Education and Culture at Uppsala University

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Sociology of the Social Sciences and the Humanities
PhD Course, 7.5 credits, 2021–2022

Sociology of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Uppsala University

Start 16 March 2021

Prof. Johan Heilbron in collaboration with
Tobias Dalberg, Astrid Collsiöö, Per Wisselgren, Pablo Lillo Cea
With guest lecturers from Uppsala and abroad (to be announced)
Coordinator: Mikael Börjesson. For registration, please send an email to

Arranged in collaboration with Higher Education as Research Object (HERO), Uppsala University.

The Course is open to PhD students in sociology of education and related disciplines (history of science, political science, history of ideas, philosophy) as well as to postdocs and junior faculty members. For registration, please send an email to Mikael Börjesson,


Documents for downloading
Literature, list compiled by Johan Heilbron

Documents for downloading

Annotated General Bibliography <k-21-ssh-Annotated General Bibliography.pdf>. Compiled by Johan Heilbron. Also below under the heading "Literature".

Bibliography Part 1, Sessions 1-4, mandatory and optional readings <k-21-ssh-Bibliography Session 1.pdf>.

Program Part 1 (16 and 17 March 2021, Zoom) <k-21-ssh-Programme Session 1.pdf>.



This course offers a sociological perspective on the emerging field of study of the social sciences and the humanities (SSH). Similar to the area of ‘science and technology studies’ (STS), it may be referred to as ‘SSH studies.’
The course aims to explore the new domain, to critically discuss the main theoretical approaches, and to provide an in-depth analysis of central themes, in relation to empirical and historical case-studies.

After the course the graduate student is expected to be able to

Content and organization

Instead of the standard format of two hour meetings, the seminar will be organized in a more concentrated manner, combining seminar teaching with workshop-like meetings. Each of the five parts is a full day or more (2 to 4 sessions) consisting of lectures followed by shorter and longer presentations of work in progress by junior and senior scholars, from Uppsala and elsewhere. The five parts concern:

Participation and registration

The Course is open to PhD students in sociology of education and related disciplines (history of science, political science, history of ideas, philosophy) as well as to postdocs and junior faculty members. For registration, please send an email to Mikael Börjesson,


For PhD students the first part is mandatory; they are expected to choose two of the four subsequent sessions. Each part is giving 2.5 credits. Students are expected to participate actively and are required to write a final essay on a topic of their own choosing.



Part 1, March 16th–17th, 2021. Towards a sociology of the social sciences and humanities (SSH)

Coordinated with Tobias Dalberg,
General introduction to the sociological study of the social sciences and the humanities in discussion with the most salient other approaches and methods (science studies, history of science, intellectual history). There will be four meetings: partly teaching, partly discussion with other specialists, plus a final forum with all lecturers and two international specialists.

16 March 2021 10.15 – 12.00. Historical development of the sociology of science in context. Johan Heilbron

16 March 2021 13.15-15.00.
Introduction to contemporary approaches: institutionalism, social studies of science and technology (STS) & field theory. Tobias Dalberg, Institutionalism (25 min); Daniel Normark, STS (25 min); Johan Heilbron, field theory (25 min) + comparative discussion

17 March 2021 10.15-12.00. New developments in history of science & intellectual history. Sven Widmalm, History of science (30 min); Johan Heilbron, Intellectual history (30 min) + comparative discussion

17 March 2021 14.15 – 16.00
Forum SSH studies: Questions, ideas, challenges
Panel discussion on Studies of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), and general discussion.
Moderator: Mikael Börjesson, Sociology of Education, Uppsala University.
Yves Gingras, UQAM, Montreal
Gisèle Sapiro, CESSP, Paris
Daniel Normark, The STS Centre, Uppsala University
Sven Widmalm, History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University
Tobias Dalberg, Sociology of Education, Uppsala University
Johan Heilbron, Sociology of Education, Uppsala University, & CESSP, Paris

The rest of the programme will be announced later.


This is an annotated general bibliography compiled by Johan Heilbron-


Mandatory literature (general)

0.1 – Pierre Bourdieu, Science of Science and Reflexivity, Chicago University Press, 2004.
–  Short book on the basis of Bourdieu’s last lectures at the Collège de France in which he recapitulates his views in a critical discussion of both positivist conceptions of science and their ‘relativist’ challengers.

0.2 – Frédéric Lebaron, “The Craft of Sociology: Epistemologial Preliminaries”
–  A short text about the epistemological background of Bourdieu’s work, which is only briefly recalled in Science of Science and reflexivity.

0.3 – Charles Camic, Neil Gross, Michèle Lamont, ‘Introduction,’ in Id. (eds), Social Knowledge in the Making, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2011, p. 1-40.
–  One of the few programmatic proposals to create a new field: ‘social studies of social knowledge making.’



In addition to the general bibliography below specific bibliographies will be circulated in advance for the five parts of the seminar. They will include mandatory as well as optional literature. As far as copy right regulations allow it, pdf’s will be made available.

The general bibliography below is intended to provide a general orientation. It lists publications that are relevant while simultaneously illustrating that most of the standard instruments for the ‘Sociology of the social sciences and the humanities’ (reference works, introductions, overviews, specialized journals, etc.) are still lacking.

Some of the more advanced work, furthermore, is in French and unavailable in English. A few publications in French have nonetheless been listed below; most have – for linguistic reasons only – been omitted. A bibliography of work in French is available upon request. For an extensive bibliography of the socalled ‘sociology of scientific knowledge’ current until the year 2000, see:


Reference Works / General Overviews

Roger Backhouse, Philip Fontaine (eds), The History of the Social Sciences Since 1945, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Roger Backhouse, Philippe Fontaine (eds), A Historiography of the Modern Social Sciences, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
–  The two volumes edited by Backhouse and Fontaine are recent overviews of the mainstream history and historiography of the social science disciplines. Both editors are economists, which is the discipline in which historical inquiry (be it the particular form of ‘history of economic ideas’) is more developed than in the other social science disciplines.

Rens Bod, A New History of the Humanities. The Search for Principles and Patterns From Antiquity to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Rens Bod and others (eds). The Making of the Humanities (various volumes since 2010).
–  Rens Bod (University of Amsterdam) is the driving force in a recently formed international network for the history of the humanities; it includes an international association and a journal (see below).

Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller, Laurel Smith-Doerr (eds), The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, fourth edition, MIT Press, 2017 [earlier editions: 1977, 1995, 2008).
–  The voluminous standard Handbook in STS (various editions); hardly any attention for the social sciences and humanities.

Michiel Leezenberg, History and Philosophy of the Humanities, Amsterdam University Press, 2018.
–  Broad and historically oriented overview of the philosophy of the humanities.

Theodore Porter, Dorothy Ross (eds), The Modern Social Sciences, Cambridge History of Science, Volume 7, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003 [print and online version].
–  First large-scale encyclopedic history of science (7 volumes) in which the social sciences are included with a separate volume.

Gisèle Sapiro (dir.), Dictionnaire International Bourdieu, Comité éditorial : François Denord, Julien Duval, Mathieu Hauchecorne, Johan Heilbron, Franck Poupeau, Paris : CNRS Éditions, 2020.
–  In-depth Dictionary with over 600 fairly brief entries on Bourdieu’s books, concepts, career and their context.

Richard Whatmore, Brian Young (eds), A Companion to Intellectual History, Wiley/Blackwell, 2016.
–  Useful reference work in intellectual history with 29 relatively brief chapters, divided into three parts (approaches, relations to other disciplines, main themes).


Journals on the (History of the) Social and Human sciences


 Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (1965 -)
–  Focused on psychology, psychiatry and related disciplines.
History of the Human Sciences (1988 -)
Revue d’histoire des sciences humaines (1999 - )
History of the Humanities (2016 - )
Serendipities. Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences (2016 - )
–  ( )


Aside from the general historical journals mentioned above, specialized journals exist for the history of particular disciplines:
History of Political Economy (1969 -),
(Journal of the) History of Sociology (1978-1987),
Journal of the History of Economic Thought (1979 -),
History of Political Thought (1980 -),
History of Economic Ideas (1983 -), History and Anthropology (1984),
European Journal of the History of Economic Thought (1993 -),
History of Psychology (1998 -),
Journal of Classical Sociology (2001 -).

Journals in ‘science studies
that may occasionally contain work on the social sciences and humanities, see
Social Studies of Science (1971),
Science, Technology, & Human Values (1976),
Science in Context (1988)
Minerva (1962).

The same applies to
journals in the history of science
such as
Isis (the flagship journal of the field since 1913, has an excellent bibliographical section) History of Science (1963).


General introductions to the Sociology of the Sciences

Good introductions, but available only in French and German

Ulrike Felt, Helga Nowotny, Klaus Taschwer, Wissenschaftsforschung. Eine Einführung, Frankfurt/New York, Campus Verlag, 1995.

Yves Gingras, Sociologie des sciences, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2013.

Terry Shinn, Pascal Ragouet, Controverses sur la science, Paris, Raisons d’agir, 2005.


General studies in the sociology of the social sciences and the humanities

Book series ‘Socio-Historical Studies of the Social and Human Sciences’Palgrave MacMillan First book series in this domain.

Johan Heilbron, Gustavo Sorá, Thibaud Boncourt (eds) The Social and Human Sciences in Global Power Relations, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Christian Fleck, Matthias Duller, Victor Karady (eds), Shaping Human Science Disciplines. Institutional Developments in Europe and Beyond, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Gisèle Sapiro, Marco Santoro, Patrick Baert (eds), Ideas on the move. The International Circulation of Paradigms and Theories in the Social Sciences and Humanities, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Other general volumes

Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-Claude Chamboredon, Jean-Claude Passeron, The Craft of Sociology. Epistemological preliminaries (first edition 1968, second edition 1972), Berlin, New York : Walter de Gruyter, 1991.
–  An original and forceful statement about the epistemological principles of sociology in debate with traditional philosophies of science, ‘methodology’ as well as with empiricism and positivism in social science research.

Charles Camic, Neil Gross, Michèle Lamont (eds). Social Knowledge in the Making. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2011.
–  A volume edited by three American sociologists aiming to launch a field of ‘social studies’ of social science knowledge.

Yves Gingras (ed.), Controverses : Accords et désaccords en sciences humaines et sociales, Paris, Editions CNRS, 2014.
–  A collection of ‘controversy studies’ as applied to the social sciences and humanities.

Johan Heilbron, Remi Lenoir & Gisèle Sapiro (dir.), Pour une histoire des sciences sociales. Hommage à Pierre Bourdieu, Paris, Fayard, 2004, 403 p.
–  A volume inspired by Bourdieu’s idea that the history of the social sciences is an essential tool for reflexivity in social science.

Gisèle Sapiro (éd.), L’Espace intellectuel en Europe. De la formation des États-nations à la mondialisation XIXe-XXe siècles, Paris : La Découverte, 2009.
–  A broad, historical and sociologically oriented volume on the ‘intellectual space’ in Europe, including studies on higher education, intellectuals, literature, translations, and the social and human sciences.

Peter Wagner, Carol Weiss, Björn Wittrock, Hellmut Wollmann (eds), Social Sciences and Modern States. National Experiences and Theoretical Crossroads, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
–  A comparative political sociology of the social sciences and social science policy expertise.


Case-studies (books)

The books listed below are written from different theoretical perspectives and have a fairly general and broad character. More specialized work will be referenced and discussed in the following sessions that will be thematic.

Andrew Abbott, Department and Discipline : Chicago Sociology at One Hundred, Chicago, UCP, 1999.

Anna Boschetti, The Intellectual Enterprise: Sartre and les Temps Modernes, Evanston, Ill.:
–  Northwestern University Press, 1988.

Mark Blyth, Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the
–  Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Pierre Bourdieu, Homo Academicus, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988 (or. 1984).

Pierre Bourdieu, The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1991.

James Capshew, Psychologists on the March: Science, Practice, and Professional Identity in America, 1929–1969. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies. Cambridge (Ma.): Harvard University Press, 1998.

Jean Converse, Survey Research in the United States: Roots and Emergence, 1890–1960. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2009.

Kurt Danziger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Alain Desrosières, The Politics of Large Numbers: A History of Statistical Reasoning. Cambridge (Ma.): Harvard University Press, 1993.

Jean-Louis Fabiani, Les Philosophes de la République, Paris, Minuit, 1988.

Christian Fleck, A Transnational History of the Social Sciences.

Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research, London: Bloomsbury, 2011

Marion Fourcade, Economists and Societies. Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain and France, 1890s to 1990s, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009.

Peter Hall (ed), The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism across Nations. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.

Johan Heilbron, The Rise of Social Theory. Cambridge, Polity Press, 1995.

Johan Heilbron, French Sociology, Ithaca/London, Cornell University Press, 2015.

David Hollinger (ed.), The Humanities and the Dynamics of Inclusion since World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Marc Joly, Devenir Norbert Elias. Histoire croisée d’un processus de reconnaissance scientifique : la réception française, Paris, Fayard, 2012

Martin Kusch, Psychologism: A Case Study in the Sociology of Philosophical Knowledge. London: Routledge, 1995.

Martin Kusch, Psychological Knowledge: A Social History and Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2005.

Frédéric Lebaron, La croyance économique. Les économistes entre science et politique, Paris, Seuil, 2000.

Donald MacKenzie, Statistics in Britain, 1865–1930: The Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1981.

Donald MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera: Finance Theory and the Making of Markets. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2006.

Wolf Lepenies, Between Literature and Science: The Rise of Sociology, trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Louis Pinto, La vocation et le métier de philosophe. Pour une sociologie de la philosophie dans la France contemporaine, Paris, Seuil (Collection Liber), 2007.

Jennifer Platt, A History of Sociological Research Methods in America, 1920–1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Theodor Porter, Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005

Dorothy Ross, The Origins of American Social Science, Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Theda Skocpol (eds), States, Social Knowledge, and the Origins of Modern Social Policies, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1996.



For research on the social sciences and the humanities all the usual tools of sociological research can in principle be mobilized (archival research, interviews, ethnographic observation, statistical analysis, etc.).

Actual research design depends on the specific problem raised and on the theoretical perspective on how the ‘research object’ should be constructed. For the epistemological principles of this conception of doing social science, see Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-Claude Chamboredon, Jean-Claude Passeron, The Craft of Sociology (full reference above).

For indicators for studying the social sciences and humanities

Christian Fleck, Johan Heilbron, Victor Karady, Gisèle Sapiro, Handbook of Indicators of Institutionalization of Academic Disciplines in SSH, appended to Serendipities, Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences, 1 (1) 2016.

Johan Heilbron, Thibaud Boncourt, Gisèle Sapiro, Gustavo Sorá, Victor Karady, Thomas Brisson, Laurent Jeanpierre, Kil-Ho Lee, “Indicators of the Internationalization of the Social Sciences and Humanities”, Serendipities, Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences 2 (1) 2017, p. 129-145.



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